So, after such a long season, nearly 20 months since my last planned break, I am ready to take some time off the saddle, time for reflection, relaxation and to get rid of that frikin' saddle sore still left from the suntour. But first ill update you on how the Victorian State titles panned out.
Friday 16th: Scratch
So i arrived on Friday night, in an attempt to win the scratch, but more or less just to wind my legs out after the long flight home and get ready for the following day in the pursuit. Little did i know it would be a 1 on 4 battle between myself and the Drapac team. They chased down and nulified all of my moves. I was conscious of not ovr doing it with the pusuit to follow, so i limited myself to 2 attacks per 20 laps. in the end i never got away and the race unfolded with a bunch kick, which i lead out from 3.5 to go.....eventually finishing in 6th. Disappointment, because it is a race i ultimately wanted to ride at nationals, but after the selection on Daniel Thorson in the state team (who finished in 3rd) i have only a small window to make the 3 man team in the natioanal scratch race. Oh well....concentrate on the pursuit.....
Saturday 17th: Pursuit
After 1.5hrs sleep i woke at 7am on Saturday morning, and like most people after 90mins sleep i felt so bad i had to have a coffee. Not only that i downed a large number of Red Bull's just to stay awake. But no excuses, i wanted to go out and throw down a good ride and win a state title. And after watching the heats before mine I knew I would have to pull out a PB performance to even make the final. After about 3 pedal strokes of my qualifying ride I knew this wasnt going to be my day. I only qualified in 4th place, some 4 secs behind Michael Ford who rode fastest in 4:30.9.......very quick........I was disapponted but all in all i did what i needed to do, rode clearly 4th fastest and qualified for nationals. Before i started my ride off for bronze, i came within seconds of vomoting up what little i had had to eat, nearly enough for me to call off the ride all together, but i pressed on and rode into 4th place. A poor day on the bike, a futher blow was landed when after i had finished my final ride i discovered that the cones on my front disc where so tight that they could hardly be moved by hand.....talk about your all time head f#@ks.....
Oh well, 1 day to go, then im on break...
Sunday 18th: Points score and Jayco Criterium
Nothing to lose today, but Finning was still to make the state team and it was now his favourite event. Our VIS team rode a perfect race of tactics and aggression. Sean Finning took out the title easily and i rolled in for 2nd place, with probably what i would describe as my best performance in a points score ever. I sprinted well and rode an attacking race, which lead to numerous srpint wins and 1 lap being taken with 4 others. As hard an effort as the points was a few of the VIS riders jumped straight into the car and headed for Dandenong to race the Jayco Criterium.
Jayco is the main sponsor of the VIS cycling program and for that reason it was important that we put in a good performance. Dave Sanders, the head coach, had told me that even just starting the race would be a huge boost for Jayco and that he just wanted us to be there. 5 mins in i decided i would fly the colours and went on a solo break that lasted 2 laps. Instead of being reeled in and spending the race in the shelter of the bunch i was joined by 5 others, including Bayden Cooke, Matt Wilson and Jeremy Hunt. We rode together and almost lap the field by the conclusion of the break, a late attack saw 3 ride off the front of the break and my team mate Johnny Clarke rode into 2nd place, behind Matt Wilson and ahead of a Tiring Bayden Cooke. I held off Jeremy and the other rider in the sprint for 4th and topped off a personally satisfying day.
But now im off the bike, for 10 days. Not too long a break, but enough to freshen up and enjoy my Christmas with my family and Amy. I have lots of time for shopping and have replaced my ipod, which i just wasnt able to live without.
So sending out a Christmas hello to all of you. Have a good one, take care of yoursleves, dont drink and drive and take care of your friends. And say hi to your mum's for me.